Schoolboy, 13, dies by suicide after facing relentless homophobic bullying ‘again and again’
A proud, queer 13-year-old boy, named Lucas, has died by suicide after facing a torrent of homophobic bullying at his school in France.
Those close to Lucas and his family have said that the school did little to stop the bullying.
The young student, who attended the Louis Armand de Golbey middle school in Vosges, North East France was a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the French publication Tetu.
Lucas was a victim of harassment by school peers for his mannerisms, the way he dressed and even his “presence.”
“He didn’t hide himself and that bothered some people,” said Stephane, a family friend.
“Lucas was always pleasant, caring, spontaneous, full of dreams and a life.”
‘Full of dreams and a life’
Since the tragic suicide of Lucas, psychological help has been made available to students and teachers at the middle school.
Valérie Dautresme, the academic services director for the National Education system in the Vosges department, said adults who knew Lucas were in shock, claiming they weren’t aware of the extent of the bullying.
“There’s really a lot of emotion from adults who didn’t see anything, didn’t see that Lucas wasn’t doing well recently,” she said.
Lucas and his mother had reported homophobic insults since the start of the school year beginning in September, according to the family friend.
“Lucas said that things were working themselves out and that he was no longer being insulted at school. For us at this point, the situation had been resolved,” Dautresme added.
The academic services director’s claims were swiftly challenged by family friend Stephanie, who said Lucas had complained “again and again and again” which ultimately led him suicide.
“His mother asked for help several times,” she said.
“The school, where he spent three-quarters of his time, didn’t react.”
The family is set to make a formal complaint with the school, with numerous people planned to be investigated.
Lucas’s school had been taking part in a nation wide program to combat bulling. The program is under direction by the National Education and Youth of France minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
A fundraiser has recently been opened to help the family, which currently sits at €7,554 (£6,707). Lucas’ funeral is planned for the 14 January, with a vigil set to take place soon after.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact theNational Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.
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